In En rachâchant [1982], there was an old wooden platform in a school in Saint-Ouen. It was hard to find because they don’t make them anymore. And the cameraman already had an axe in his hand. I held his arm back. That’s cinema. You can’t trust cinema.

--Jean-Marie Straub, Où gît votre sourire enfoui?, 2001.

Might it be dangerous, perhaps? At seven, a boy senses miracles in all things, and in their nakedness of Woman, he has certainty in her as I suppose she, rib of man, has certainty in us. Death exists, but doesn't take anything away from this certainty; it never wrongs man's world of A Thousand and One Nights. A boy asks for nothing but paper and wind, he needs only to launch a kite. He goes outside and launches it; and it is a shout which rises from him, the boy carries it through the spheres with a long, invisible thread, and in this way his faith consummates, celebrates, certainty. But later, what will he do with certainty? Later, one knows the wrongs done to the world, the ruthlessness, the servitude, the injustice among men, and the desecration of earthly life against humanity and against the world. What would one do then, if even still, one had certainty? What would one do? one asks oneself.

--Elio Vittorini, Conversations in Sicily, 1937-8. Trans. Alane Salierno Mason, Canongate, 2004, p. 135-7.


H: That palm tree is a nuisance.
S: Let it sway.

--Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub, editing Sicilia!, Où gît votre sourire enfoui?, 2001.

L'Avventura - Michelangelo Antonioni, 1960, 35mm

It was night over Sicily and the quiet earth: the wronged world was covered with darkness, men were shut in their rooms with lights lit beside them, and the dead, all those who had been killed, had awakened to sit in their tombs, meditating. I stood thinking, and the great night was in me, night on top of night. Those lights below, above, and that cold in the darkness, that ice of a star in the sky - they didn't belong to one night alone, they were infinite; and I thought of the nights of my grandfather, the nights of my father, and the nights of Noah, the nights of a man naked in wine and defenceless, humiliated, less of a man than a little boy, or one of the dead.

--Elio Vittorini, Conversations in Sicily, p.166-7.

Où gît votre sourire enfoui? - Pedro Costa, 2001, DV

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